Graham Nelson

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Graham A. Nelson (born 1968) is a British mathematician and poet and the creator of the Inform design system for creating interactive fiction (IF) games. He has also authored several IF games, including the acclaimed[1] Curses (1993) and Jigsaw (1995), using the experience of writing Curses in particular to expand the range of verbs that Inform is capable of understanding. He has been described by The New York Times as "ornately literate."[1]

Graham Nelson
Born1968 (age 51–52)
OccupationMathematician, poet, author, game designer
Spouse(s)Emily Short

Nelson is the author of the Inform Designer's Manual, which includes one of the first published works of interactive fiction theory, an essay titled "The Craft of Adventure". He has also written several important essays on interactive fiction in the field. He is one of a very small number of individuals (such as Andrew Plotkin) who are celebrated both for their creative and their technical contributions to the homebrew IF scene.

Nelson studied at Selwyn College, Cambridge and Magdalen College, Oxford, before becoming a fellow in pure mathematics at St Anne's College, Oxford. He co-edited Oxford Poetry and in 1997 received an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors for his poetry.[2] As of 2004 he was managing editor of Legenda, the imprint of the Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA).[3] He is married to IF writer Emily Short.[4]




Other worksEdit

  • (1995) "The Craft of the Adventure" (2nd ed)
  • (1997) Singularities, with Polly Clark and Tim Kendall. Oxford: Hubble Press. ISBN 0-9531989-0-1. Anthology of poetry
  • (2001) Inform Designers Manual (4th ed), with Gareth Rees. Placet Solutions, ISBN 0-9713119-0-0


  1. ^ a b Rothstein, Edward (6 April 1998). "TECHNOLOGY: CONNECTIONS; In the intricacy of a text game, no object is superfluous, no formulation too strange". New York Times. The New York Times Company. Archived from the original on 4 January 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2008.
  2. ^ Eric Gregory Trust Fund Awards (winners), Society of Authors. Accessed 2007-04-19.
  3. ^ "New Partners for Oxford University's Legenda Imprint", 2004-10-21. Modern Humanities Research Association Archived 13 September 2002 at the Library of Congress Web Archives. Accessed 2007-04-19
  4. ^ "Private Games". Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling. Retrieved 14 May 2018.

External linksEdit